National Novel Editing Month is starting to feel like my attempts to eat real food - good intentions followed by total fail followed by punishing make-up period.
Day three was A-OK. I finished plotting my novel via post-it notes on the wall (see photo above). I don't know why I was expecting something more extensive. For a novel that's 240,000 words+, the above looks suspiciously thin. I realized, once again, that the first half of the novel is pretty bad and the second half much better. I stared at my creation, hoping some brilliant idea would click into place. Failing that, I made a mug of Ovaltine and watched Castle. It's early on yet. Brilliance cannot be forced.
Day four, five, and six involved work-related drinking, non-work related drinking, and then not drinking (and not editing either). *slaps wrist*
Day seven, Sunday, was ATONEMENT. I spent four and half hours editing. Here's what happened:
- I realized, with horror, that my attempt to use regional dialect is both embarrassing and inaccurate. TRASH.
- Also, novels should NOT begin with 20 page character sketches in narrative form. TRASH.
- One of my lead characters is so boring I wanted to violently slaughter her. SO I DID. Muahaha! I spent an hour X'ing her out of most of the novel. That was extremely satisfying. TRASH.
- A character that I think is hilarious, who is a composite of various emo-frontmen from the mid-00's (shut up, it's YA) but actually snarky and intelligent, appears 2/3 of the way through. Inexcusable. He will now be a main character. Cut and paste.
- Anything I may have thought was "daring" and "controversial" (read: embarrassing and ill-informed) has been nixed. TRASH.
- I decided to remove 25% of the angst in favour of what will be 50% more plot. This has not yet been actualized. But it will.
- Strangely, despite the carnage, there is a lot of novel left. Not surprising, since it feels longer than the Bible.
You may notice that I'm throwing around a lot of figures in this post. This guarantees that this process will be accurate and guaranteed to succeed. No doubt.